Fig & Date Nut Bread
Makes 1 loaf or 3 mini-loaves
1 cup chopped pitted dates
1 cup chopped dried figs
4 Tbs. (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
Preheat an oven to 350ºF. Grease and flour a 1-lb. loaf pan or 3 mini-loaf pans.
In a large bowl, combine the dates, figs, butter and baking soda. Pour in the boiling water, stir well and let stand for 15 minutes.
Using a whisk, beat the sugar, walnuts and eggs into the date mixture; set aside. In another bowl, stir and toss together the all-purpose flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the date mixture and whisk until just blended.
Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes for the regular size loaf pan or 35-40 minutes for the mini-loaf pans. Transfer the pan(s) to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes; turn the loaf(s) out onto the rack and let cool completely.
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